Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. released the following statement regarding the passing of Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings (FL-20). Rep. Hastings died this morning after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. He was the Dean of the Florida Congressional delegation and spent almost 30 years as the Representative from Florida’s 20th District. Before that, Rep. Hastings was Florida’s first African American federal judge and a strong civil rights advocate.
“Once again, I am devastated at the loss of my colleague and mentor, the Honorable Alcee Hastings of Florida. We would talk about his time spent in Newark as a child and his fond memories of growing up there. While voting, I would spend many days sitting next to him and listening to the wisdom he imparted on me. His blunt honesty and brilliance as a legislator were second to none. We even shared our love of colorful socks.
“The Lord has another one of my Fathers on the Floor of Congress with him now. First, it was Mr. (Elijah) Cummings, then Mr. (John) Lewis, and now Mr. Hastings. May God rest their souls. I miss them all so dearly.”